Ayşe Betül Çelik is a full professor, teaching conflict analysis and resolution, and political science at Sabanci University in Istanbul. She received her Ph.D. in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2002. She has been a visiting scholar in the American University (2009) and the University of Sydney (2013). Her work focuses on ethnicity, forced migration, reconciliation, civil society, and gender in peacebuilding and peacemaking. She is also trained in dialogue, UNSCR 1325 NAP writing, problem-solving workshops, negotiation, and conflict mapping. She served as a consultant to several civil society organizations on gender and peace, and is a founding member of Peace Foundation, and Center for Excellence for Women and Gender Studies at Sabancı University. She teaches conflict resolution, and gender equality to civil society, private companies, and public schools. As a founding member of the Turkish antenna of the MWMN, Prof. Çelik actively works for teaching gender-sensitive mediation, and organizes conflict resolution dialogue groups among diverse group of women in Turkey.
Emine Çolak is a Turkish Cypriot lawyer/barrister practicing in Nicosia since 1982, specializing in human rights. For 25 years, she has trained in and used mediation and negotiation skills professionally and in activism. She is member of several cross community dialogue groups for reconciliation and reunification focusing on tangible ways to resolve the frozen conflict. She coordinated Committees negotiating laws attached to the comprehensive solution proposal, the Annan Plan in 2004. As a co-founder and head of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation for 10 years, she worked to elevate the standard of human rights in her community through awareness raising, reporting and legal challenges also contributing to the formation of the Immoveable Property Commission to solve property disputes pending a solution. She speaks fluent Turkish and English and reasonable French. During 2015 and 2016 she served as the Foreign Minister of her community. She considers her expertise to be in conflict dynamics arising after independence in former colonies with communities clashing over ethnic/linguistic differences believing that reinforcing human rights is an essential tool for overcoming disputes within and between communities. Being dedicated to achieving gender equality and the effective participation of women in all fields of life and governance she regards the absence of enough women and gender sensitivity peace processes is clearly a major cause of the limited success of many of them. Consequently, she is now a member of the Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth and the Mediterranean Women Mediators networks, and co-founder of its Cyprus Antenna.
Özge Özoğul is the Operations Officer of the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR), a multi-communal civil society organization that plays a role in the peacebuilding process in Cyprus through education. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Basque Country in the Doctoral Program ‘Education: School, Language and Society’. She is from Nicosia, Cyprus, and graduated from the University of Southampton, the United Kingdom. She received her M.A. degree from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, in Multilingualism with a specialization in Multilingual Education and Language Policy Planning. She had opportunities to enhance her knowledge and skills in peacebuilding and mediation further through her position at the AHDR and attending trainings, which encouraged her to connect with mediators and be actively engaged in mediation. She became a member of the MWMN in order to learn with and from members; to give visibility to women’s voices locally, regionally and internationally; advocate for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions; and to strengthen collaboration between WPS and YPS agendas. One of her values is reflection which contributes to her being an effective practitioner, and nurtures responsibility, creativity and advancement. Through her position, she plays an active role in crafting and implementing educational interventions that i) promote dialogue, cooperation and trust between different communities in Cyprus, and within each community; ii) foster critical thinking, multi-perspectivity and historical understanding; and iii) provide spaces for inquiry and peer to peer learning. She also facilitates peace education workshops.